I made it through exactly five years of parenting without one call to poison control. Bare in mind that my half decade of abstinence has no correlation to the amount of times my children have been in contact with potentially perilous substances — I guess I just always intervened quickly enough and generally hate making phone calls. But today I learned that calls to poison control are easy (dare I say pleasurable?) and run-of-the-mill for many parents (I’m looking at you, my beloved Fancy Elephant). Fellow mommies at R’s school regaled me with one or several heart stoppers on the lawn after pick-up, and I listened wide-eyed and mouth agape. I was later reminded by my mom that when I was around K’s age, she found me eating a dozen or so Aspirin — how I accessed the bottle she’ll never know. Poison Control directed her to induce vomiting by giving me ipecac, a syrup which is now regarded as largely ineffective at purging the body of dangerous stuff. Guess it worked for me though, as I live to write about it!
Here’s what prompted my first-ever call. This morning, K ate my tinted anti-aging (a girl’s gotta try!) moisturizer. See, she’s a busy, gets-into-everything type of gal who demands to be occupied at all times and won’t simply sit and observe while I take care of personal tasks (the apple didn’t fall too far from my 5-year-old’s verdant tree). So I’ve been doing my rushed morning face routine in R’s room — a place that is still exciting to K, with endless exploration possibilities. I rarely think about her safety when she’s right next to me (lesson learned, let’s hope). But today I carelessly left the top off of my moisturizer when I finished using it. When I glanced over at K, I found her finger-deep in the supposed miracle cream. Her tiny fingers swiftly made their way to her lips, which bared traces of the colored lotion. I didn’t panic too much about this misstep, but did grab the container and skimmed the ingredient list, which included retinol and a bold warning to seek medical attention if the product is swallowed. Ugh and uh-oh. Luckily our pediatrician is also a friend who doesn’t mind an early morning text, so I speedily typed and sent. Though he thought she’d be fine, he recommended a quick call to poison control to be cautious and conservative. So that’s how it happened — my first PC call. And what a treat! Seriously. I could have stayed on with that pleasant pharmacist all morning. He was awesome — sooo friendly, calm and knowledgeable without even a hint of judginess. And on a weird side note, he had actually received a call from a woman with my same name just prior to my call. I’ve never even met anyone with my name (Ola). Could be a sign, but of what I’m not too sure!! The final verdict was to watch for signs of stomach upset or an on-sight reaction. Retinol is indeed poisonous if ingested, but most face products don’t use enough of it to cause major concern — which I bet means that I’m paying good anti-aging money for very minimal anti-aging results. I might look into products that my daughters or I could eat if we were ever inclined to do so.
Got any poisonous tales to share?